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How Long Does It Take to Close on a House?

On Behalf of | April 01, 2024 | Estate Planning

You and your spouse have been searching for months for the perfect home. It has been an arduous process, but you finally step into an adorable cape that meets all your needs. You put in your offer to the seller and immediately call your parents to tell them the good news.

You go ahead and invite family and friends over, only to find out that the closing is scheduled for six weeks from now. You will have to wait to be handed the keys to your dream home.

Unfortunately, this scenario has happened to several first-time homebuyers. Blackacre Law LLC would like to provide an overview of what to expect when closing on a home and how long the process may take.

Mortgage Approval

If you were pre-approved, you have essentially already been guaranteed approval for the mortgage. Also known as a mortgage prequalification, this sets a limit on the purchase price of the home and the loan amount. Most sellers will want to see a pre-approval letter before accepting your offer.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the first major items to be taken care of when closing on a home. It should be completed within 7-10 days of the offer acceptance. The home inspection will examine every aspect of the house, including the roof, foundation, chimney, electrical wiring, and plumbing systems.

The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any significant issues with the property and to make the buyer aware of any potential maintenance costs. Homeowners should also conduct an annual inspection of the property to keep up with maintenance.

Negotiating Repairs

After the inspection is completed, the buyer will have time to review the inspector’s notes and photographs taken of the property. You will have 7-14 days to get back to the seller requesting repairs. Your real estate agent will recommend how many repairs you should request.

If your list is extremely long or you were dissatisfied with the condition of the property, this is an opportunity to back out of the sale. Keep in mind that your initial deposit will be non-refundable.

Purchase & Sale Agreement

The agreed-upon repairs will be included in the Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S). This is the official document that transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. At this time, you will make another deposit upon executing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This deposit will be held in escrow, usually by the seller’s real estate agent (listing agent).

Next Steps

Upon both sides signing the P & S, a few other items will be addressed:

  • The bank will conduct an appraisal of the property to determine the value of the property and what collateral you will have in the event of foreclosure;
  • A title search will be conducted to make sure that there are no outstanding liens on the property;
  • The deed will be prepared, which the seller can sign ahead of time if not available for the closing date;
  • Paperwork for the bank loan will be finalized, and
  • The final walk-through will take place (usually on the morning of closing).


At closing, you will meet with your attorney and sign a lot of paperwork, most of which is related to the mortgage. If you do not understand any paperwork, you should ask for it to be explained to you prior to signing.

You can expect the entire closing process to take between 30-45 days. It may potentially take longer if any problems arise.

Speak with a South Carolina Real Estate Lawyer Today

Closing on a home can be an intimidating process. Between repair negotiations and stacks of paperwork, you may feel overwhelmed. While you do have the option to use the bank’s attorney, it is usually in your best interest to hire an attorney who is looking out for your interests.

If you are buying a home, contact our office today online or by phone to find out how we can be of assistance to you.